Monday, February 22, 2010

Is Usury A Sin?

This is post is in response to a discussion I am having with my friend David Cougle on facebok.

There should never be a reason that a Believer should have to suffer what this guy (Terry Hoskins ref: did because we should do our best to help one another out. I am of course not saying that we should just lend out thousands of dollars and not expect it to be paid back.

Nor should people think that hey can just sit around and not work because they believe they will be taken care of by those in the church.

And no Christian should ever charge a brother or a sister interest on a loan of any sort. This is why a Christian should not really own a bank, not in the worldly sense of banks at least, because Holy Scripture is wholly against charging interest. Which is a sin in God's eyes.

The man in that article did sin in God's eyes...and according to Ezekiel 18:12 God is against him. For it says that the any one "who steals from debtors by refusing to let them redeem what they have given in pledge," is a sinful man. But in the same passage it says that those who "oppresses the poor and helpless," and and "lends money at interest (NASB)," is also committing sin.

So my point is this. We as followers of Him should never ever go to the world for loans and such. Because in doing so we put our selves in subjugation to the worldly banks and money lenders. This is against Holy Scripture and is not what God would have us do. In other words the monetary crisis that is going on in this country right now with people bailing on loans, declaring bankruptcy and so on should not exist in the church.

The brethren who have been given much by God, have a duty to help in such times. But only towards the brethren who have need. I do not speak of people outside the fold. And again those who do provide the loans to the brethren should be paid back. But they should not charge one cent of interest.

And those brethren who do own banks and believe that they are "blessing" those with in the church with low interest rates are fooling them selves. Because God is against usury toward his Children. Funny thing is He isn't against usury towards those who aren't his children. Go figure. But those who aren't his children are subjugated to the world and Not him. The children of God have supposedly been freed from the world of sin so we should not be subjugated to any thing or any one but Him.

Now it is a sin to invest money in the worldly system and gain an interest? No. Because in Matthew 25:27 (the end of the parable of the talents) the master is chastising his slave for not investing what he gave him charge of. He said in response to the servant burying the money, "27 'Then you ought to have put my money in the bank, and on my arrival I would have received my money back with interest."

Now the parable is not about money or physical things at all. Rather it is about preaching that which was provided to us by Jesus before he went up to heaven and that thing is His Gospel. Him. We preach Him. And in doing so, people are saved and they preach to others and others are saved. They are the interest gained. The "bankers" are the "hearts" of those we preach to, and when we "plant the seeds" of the Gospel (the talents) in their hearts, and some one else perhaps waters those seeds, then Christ comes along and gives the growth and "reaps" His harvest (reaping where he has not sown, as in the parable.)

But that scripture just because it is there, because it was going along with the monetary and business culture of the day, does support us investing in the

worldly banking system, to gain interest back on what we have put in. But it most certainly does not support, the Children of God being in debt to the worldly banking and loan system.

And it is a travesty that Christians who might need a loan to buy a house or a justifiable mode of transportation to get to work, or what ever has to go to the world to get it. Because in doing so it creates a system of slavery to a worldly institution. To be enslaved to any one but God is a sin. So in not being more willing to help out our brethren, we cause them to sin because they subject them selves to some one else other than God. You can not serve two masters right? Matthew 6:24 says, "No one can serve two masters ; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other." And yes it goes on to say that "you cannot serve God and wealth." Yes it's talking about being devoted to money. But this does not negate the fact that when we have a mortgage that the bank literally owns us. So there for they become our masters. This is a slight against God.

For heaven sake, we are supposed to be set apart firstly to God and then also toward each other. People in worldly family's stab one another in the back and turn their backs on one another, and deceive one another to get what they want. It should not be so in the church.

In God's family we give where there is need, and we bless one another and are ready to help whenever and where ever we can.

Yes I agree with you. He should not have done what he did. But if he is of the world, so it doesn't matter. The banking crisis should not be effecting those of us who with in the church who are able to work hard. Because according to the Scriptures we, as God's children, are supposed to stick together and help one another in times of crisis. And in so doing we are a beacon, a light to the world.

We should be showing THEM how it's done. How are we supposed to sustain one another with greed and avarice. We give, we bless, we help each other in every way possible unto God, and we get back in return.

We in America are so against socialism it's not even funny. And we should be against any government imposing such a thing on the people. Especially one as dishonest and untrustworthy as ours.

But Christianity began as a completely socialistic movement. I site Acts 2:44-47 " And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common ; 45 and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need. 46 Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved. " (NASB).

See? The epitome of socialism. They were selling "their property and possessions and were sharing them with all." And they were "taking meals together." Do you see? It's a completely socially communal spirit they have. In the government system this sort of thing is flawed. But with in the church it should be implemented and valued.

I know that you have the "name it, claim it," people that you and I both know very well, who believe that it's God's will for them to be as wealthy as possible and to own a lot of expensive stuff and so on. But you and I both know that this is false. Yes there are those to whom God will give increase in this area. Money and land and so on. And so it is their duty to help the brothers, and the sisters, and the families of the Faith who are having a hard time it it. God gave them increase, not so that they can live lavishly, but so they can help keep their brethren out of poverty.

And one would argue, "well if they were working they wouldn't be in poverty." That argument is not valid. There are plenty of those who are of the faith of Yeshua who are in poverty. Poverty of course is relative from place to place. American poverty is not as bad as that in Haiti or in Africa and so on. In fact I would go sa far to say that the poor in America are doing okay compared to those in these other countries.

What with all of our social systems in place, it's hard to be that poor in america. By "that poor" I of course refer to the the fact that our poor isn't that poor compared to the poor in haiti and so on.

Christians should not be going to the government for hand outs. In a perfect Christian Church (I refer to the world church, and not a specific congregation) we would be going to our more able brothers for help. But because there are so few brothers willing to help out his brothers and sisters in Christ, a super majority poor, or for a short time down and out Christians are forced to go to the secular government. This to is a slight against God. For he wants us to depend on one another and so therefore we depend on Him.

Jesus gave his life for us. But american Christians a lot of times elevate the constitution above Jesus’ sacrifice to say that what’s mine is mine and no one is getting it. I was wrong to praise that man for tearing down his house. Because in doing so I endorsed an un-Christ like action. Jesus commanded us in Matthew 5:39-42...”39 "But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. 40 "If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. 41 "Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two. 42 "Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.

This is that way he should have acted if he had Jesus’ Spirit. And in this way all of those who belong to God should act.

We get to caught up in the political things of this country. We Christians think that if we get the right person in office then he or she is going to make a world of difference. And we fool our selves. Romans 13 says that it is God who put the ruling authorities in place. Every one from Ceasar, to Hitler, Bush and Barak Obama have been placed there by God. Don’t argue with me about it. Paul stated it plainly...1 Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God ; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. 3 For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority ? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same ; 4 for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid ; for it does not bear the sword for nothing ; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil. 5 Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience' sake. 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing. 7 Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom ; fear to whom fear ; honor to whom honor. ---Romans 13:1-7 (NASB)

We needn’t so much worry about the state and affairs of the government because God places whom He wants where he needs them. Is that to say that they will be men of God? No, of course not. But God has his reasons and His ways are higher than ours. (Isaiah 55:8-9)

So what then? Do we just allow the government and liberals to trample our faith? No. We don’t. But until Christians unify, which we aren’t, not really, then nothing is going to change. Sure we get up on our soap boxes in protest and shout for our rights. But we have no clear leader ship. And for some reason mainstream evangelical Christian folk are scared to have some sort of central leadership. I mean yeah the Southern Baptist have the S.B.C. and the methodist have their president and so on.

But unless we here in America have clear cut God anointed leadership that we submit our selves to then we will never go any where and the world will over take us. We just need some one who can unite us all and speak for us on the national level. And thought there are many who have a national presence, there is no one who can be God’s Herald for the Christian people of America. But until we drop our sectarian silliness, also a slight against God, and until we are united in God, then nothing will will change for the better. We can elect whom ever and depose whom ever but it will Period.